“Large” and “small” are generally used to express variations or changes in size, dimensions, or mass. “High” and “low” are usually used to express levels or numerical values. “Large” and “small” are often mistakenly used where “high” and “low” would be better.

BAD: A low amount of the brain’s capacity is needed for survival instincts.
GOOD: A small amount of the brain’s capacity is needed for survival instincts.

BAD: A high fluctuation in average migration of gazelles was detected between June 4 and 18.
GOOD: A large fluctuation in average migration of gazelles was detected between June 4 and 18.

on dimanche 27 janvier 2019 | | A comment?


The colon “:” and semicolon “;” are two punctuation marks that are often misused.

A colon is used to introduce a list or a clause that explains the clause before the colon.

There are a number of Springer Nature journals that accept manuscripts dealing with biology: Central European Journal of Biology, Journal of Chemical Biology, Journal of Mathematical Biology, and Journal of Plant Biology.

Semicolons are used in two ways:
To separate two independent clauses (clauses that could be complete sentences by themselves) if you do not use a connecting word like "and" or "while" between them.
To separate items in a list if some items in the list have commas within them. In other words, semicolons are used instead of commas if commas would be confusing.

The patient was unresponsive; doctors were running everywhere carrying medical equipment.

These two clauses could be separate sentences: "The patient was unresponsive. Doctors were running everywhere carrying medical equipment." However, the semicolon suggests that there is a relationship between these two sentences. You can usually tell from the context what the actual relationship is.

More examples:
She works all day as a nurse in a retirement home; in addition, she is studying in the evenings to become a doctor.

Dr Benaud is a French researcher; however, he lives in Antarctica.

Thousands of mites crossed the barrier from region A to region B every hour; therefore, it was not possible to count all of them.

Our main findings were that uninsured patients are most likely to visit the emergency room for their health care needs; that children, the elderly, and the unemployed are the groups most affected by lack of insurance; and that the uninsured are a heavy burden on hospitals.


Should you use UK or US spelling? Check the journal’s Instructions for Authors to find out which spelling the journal requires. In many cases the journal will accept either form, just remember to be consistent with the spellings throughout your manuscript.

TIP: Microsoft Word can help you with correct spellings. Simply open your Language preferences and chose either UK or US spelling and ensure “checking spelling as you type” is selected. Misspelled words should now be underlined in red and can be corrected.

Use of respectively

‘Respectively’ is an adverb that is often misused by non-native English speakers. It means “in the order given” and should only be used if your sentence would be unclear without it.

Oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen detector flows were set at 85, 7, and 4 mL/min, respectively.

The use of respectively here makes it clear that the first gas mentioned goes with the first number, the second gas goes with the second number, and the third gas with the third number.

More examples:
BAD: The two values were 143.2 and 21.6, respectively.
GOOD: The two values were 143.2 and 21.6.

BAD: The two tubes were labeled B and S, respectively.
GOOD: The tubes containing blood and saline were labeled B and S, respectively.


There are three articles in English: a, an, and the. These are classified as indefinite (a and an) or definite (the).

Indefinite articles refer to something not specifically known to the person you are communicating with. In other words, a and an are used before nouns that introduce something or someone you have not mentioned before.

"I witnessed an eclipse this morning."
"I wrote a laboratory report before lunch."

A and an are also used when talking about your profession.

"I am an ethicist."
"I am a scientist."

Use a when the noun you are referring to starts with a consonant sound when pronounced.

"a city", "a factory", "a hotel", "a university"

If the word begins with a vowel sound when pronounced, then use an.

"an hour", "an umbrella", "an owl", "an igloo"

Use the when you know that the reader or listener knows or can identify what particular person or thing you are discussing.

"The results were confirmed."
"Did you unlock the door?"

You should also use the when the thing you are discussing has been mentioned previously.

"Each vector encoded a protein with a different reporter molecule. The size of the protein was..."

We also use the when talking about geographical features.

"the Tropic of Capricorn", "the English channel", "the Himalayas"

We also use the preceding certain nouns when it is known that there is only one of something.

"the sun", "the world", "the Imperial Palace", “the Pacific Ocean”

Proper nouns

A noun is a word that refers to a person, thing, or idea. A proper noun is the specific name of a person, organization, or location. Proper nouns always have their first letter capitalized.

Examples of when to capitalize

  • The first and last names of a person

Examples: Gillian Welch, Steve Jobs, Francis Crick, Michael Jackson

  • Names of companies and organizations

Examples: World Wildlife Fund, United Nations, Volkswagen, Springer Nature

  • Countries and cities

Examples: Australia, India, Germany, New York, London, Beijing

  • Months of the year, days of the week

Examples: January, August, Monday, Saturday

Examples of when not to capitalize

  • Names of chemicals or generic drugs

Example: benzene, acetaminophen


Comparisons are frequently made in the Results section of papers. These often involve the words “between,” “among,” “like,” “with,” and “than.”

When making a comparison, the following points should be adhered to:

1. Only compare similar things that can be compared fairly

BAD: The brain activity in Patient A was compared with Patient B.

GOOD: The brain activity in Patient A was compared with that of Patient B.

It doesn’t make sense to compare brain activity with a person. Instead, we need to compare like with like – that is, brain activity in Patient A with brain activity in Patient B.

GOOD: Expression levels of p53 in smokers were compared with p53 levels in non-smokers.
BETTER: Expression levels of p53 in smokers were compared with those in non-smokers.

Here "those" means "expression levels of p53." It’s best not to repeat the same words in a sentence, since it can bore readers.

2. Avoid being vague – be as specific as possible

BAD: Reactions with the new machine were faster.

GOOD: Reactions with the new machine were faster than those with the old machine.
The first sentence makes the reader wonder "Faster than what?"

3. Words such as “reduced,” “increased,” and “decreased” can only be used to compare something to the way it was before, not to compare two different things. To compare two different things (e.g., groups of patients), use words such as “higher,” “shorter,” or “more”

BAD: In our study, time until hibernation was reduced in the Experimental Group compared with the Control Group.

GOOD: In our study, time until hibernation was shorter in the Experimental Group than in the Control Group.

"Reduced" cannot be used to compare two different things; the Experimental Group and the Control Group

Stress position

A reader will unconsciously focus at the end of the sentence to identify what is important. This information can be referred to as the stress position of a sentence. With this expectation in mind, you can emphasize what is important about your presented idea by placing that information at the end of the sentence.

1: Introduction of the new assembly line increased manufacturing.
2: Manufacturing increased after the introduction of the new assembly line.

In sentence (1) above, ‘increased manufacturing’ is in the stress position. A reader could assume that the authors looked at the various effects of the introduction of the new assembly line. The key effect that was observed was an increase in the manufacturing.

In sentence (2), however, ‘introduction of the new assembly line’ is in the stress position. In this case, a reader could assume that the authors looked at various ways to increase manufacturing. Of these, it was introduction of the new assembly line that had the greatest effect.
Specifying the key information at the end of a sentence will change the reader’s interpretation of that sentence.

In addition to emphasizing what is important, the stress position also provides a clue as to what the next sentence will be about. By providing these clues, authors can help manage reader expectations and ensure that the presented ideas are communicated more effectively. In the following examples the stress positions are in bold and help introduce the subject of the next sentence.

To increase the number of student applicants, the university recently implemented a new program. An important part of this program is to first give seminars at top-ranking high schools in the region. Increasing the number of local students is the initial step for the program’s success.

The patient went to the hospital to see a gastroenterologist. The doctor then performed a series of diagnostic tests. The results showed the patient suffered from a bacterial infection. Antibiotics were prescribed to treat the infection before the patient developed an ulcer.

Topic position

The topic position refers to the information provided at the beginning of a sentence. This information serves two functions for a reader. First, it should introduce to the reader what information will be presented in the sentence.

We mentioned previously that each sentence should discuss one idea—the topic position should introduce this idea. To make this new idea familiar to the reader, it needs to link back to previously discussed information. That is the second function of the topic position—to serve as a topic link.

Avian influenza infection rates have been increasing worldwide. Transmission has been rapid owing to high levels of international travel. H5N1 is one type of avian influenza currently being studied. Epidemiology studies have shown this virus to be especially pathogenic.

Subject and verb placement

Readers expect the verb, a word that describes an action, in a sentence to be near the subject of that sentence. However, some authors tend to insert a lot of text that describes the subject between the subject and verb.

In these cases, when the reader reaches the verb, they can forget what the subject was. They will then have to go back to the beginning of the sentence for clarification. Your reader should only have to read your writing once to understand your ideas. To improve the readability of your manuscript, keep subjects and verbs close together in your sentences.

BAD: The patient’s liver readings [s] at 48 hours after exposure to the virus had increased [v] by 50%.
GOOD: The patient’s liver readings [s] had increased [v] by 50% at 48 hours after exposure to the virus.

Concise writing

When writing your manuscript, be as brief as possible without omitting essential details. A common mistake that authors make is trying to include too much information in their sentences. When sentences are long, most readers will have to read the sentence at least twice to understand the presented ideas.

Your readers, like you, are busy and want to find the relevant information quickly and efficiently. To improve the readability of your writing, use short sentences. This can be achieved by presenting only one idea per sentence and limiting the sentence length to a maximum of 20–25 words.

Keep it simple! Simple language is usually clearer; it is more precise and concise than complex language. Many authors incorrectly assume that they should use complicated language as they are often describing something that is sophisticated, when in fact it can confuse the reader and weaken your message.

You can keep your manuscript concise and precise by adhering to the following guidelines:
Only one idea per sentence
Use the active voice, not the passive voice, when possible
Delete unnecessary or vague words and replace them with more specific words

BAD: The company that economists considered to be a model of modern employee conditions was Shravers Publishing, which was established as a subsidiary of the Shravers Educational Group by Dr John Mitchems in 1923.

GOOD: Economists considered Shravers Publishing to be a model of modern employee conditions. Dr John Mitchems established this company as a subsidiary of the Shravers Education Group in 1923.

By presenting one idea per sentence, you can reduce the first long sentence (33 words) to two shorter and clearer sentences (12 and 16 words, respectively).

TIP: The Purdue Online Writing Lab is a fantastic writing resource and has many more examples of how to make your writing concise. Purdue Online Writing Lab.

Avoiding common language issues

Without even realizing it, readers will expect certain information to appear at certain places within a manuscript. This includes where information is provided in a sentence, in a paragraph, and in the sections of an article. If this information is not provided where the readers expect to find it, they will likely become confused and will not understand your ideas clearly. By considering these reader expectations, you can greatly improve the readability of your manuscript.

Gopen and Swan [1] outlined a logical way for organizing ideas within a manuscript that can improve the readability of your writing. The key concepts they proposed include the following:
• using short sentences
• keeping the verb and subject close together in sentences
• using the topic and stress positions to organize and link ideas within and between sentences.

The following pages provide further information about these three concepts and how to apply these to your manuscript. We also highlight issues that we see commonly appearing in manuscripts submitted from non-native English speakers and provide examples on correct usage. 

[1] Gopen, George D and Swan, Judith A “The Science of Scientific Writing” American Scientist Nov-Dec 1990: 550 558,%20Science%20Writing.pdf


on samedi 26 janvier 2019 | A comment?

All l'IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Books

IELTS All l'IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Books
In one link
IELTS is the high stakes English test for international study, migration and work. Open a world of opportunity with IELTS.
You can download all of IELTS 's books via the following link: download 

on jeudi 24 janvier 2019 | | A comment?

Scopus: Advanced Searching

Having access to comprehensive content and high-quality data is only effective if you can easily find what you’re looking for. Uncovering trends, discovering sources and collaborators, and building further insights requires effective search tools that can quickly identify the right results from over 57 million records.

Identifying trends for key topics Scopus’ literature search is built to distill massive amounts of information down to the most relevant documents and information in less time. With Scopus you can search and filter results in the following ways: Document search: Search directly from the homepage and use detailed search options to ensure you find the document(s) you want
  • Refine results: Scopus makes it easy to refine your results list to specific categories of documents
  • Author search: Search for a specific author by name or by Open Research and Contributor Identifier ID (ORCID)
  • Affiliation search: Identify and assess an affiliation’s scholarly output, collaborating institutions and top authors
  • Advanced search: Narrow the scope of your search using field codes, proximity operators and/or Boolean operators
  • Language interface: The Scopus interface is available in Chinese and Japanese; content is not localized, but you can switch the interface to one of these language options (and switch back to English, the default language) at the bottom of any Scopus page.
This video is part of a series of online tutorials called HeadsUp: Researchers. In it, we show you how to perform literature searches in Scopus using the advanced interface.

on dimanche 20 janvier 2019 | A comment?

Searching with Scopus

This tutorial video will walk you through the basics of searching for good research in Scopus, covering keywords, combining searches, and exporting records.

Top 10 stories of 2018

Top 10 stories of 2018
Open science, AI for researchers,
and women in STEM prevail

By Alison Bert, 

Elsevier Connect received nearly 2.6 million views in 2018. Our most viewed stories dealt with issues of critical importance to the research community: The value of open science and open data. A new way to measure journal impact. A breakthrough for researchers with visual impairments. The impressive contributions of ambitious women researchers in the developing world. How to spot predatory journals. What can happen when your research hits the headlines. And the implications of AI for research and policy.

Our contributors are members of the global science, technology and health communities and the Elsevier colleagues who work closely with them, many who also worked as researchers or clinicians.

Thank you to all of our contributors — and congratulations to those who made this list.

Open science, AI for researchers,  and women in STEM prevail

1. Open science: data from the largest meta-analysis of antidepressants available

Network meta-analysis of eligible comparisons for efficacy of antidepressants. The width of the lines is proportional to the number of trials comparing every pair of treatments. The size of every circle is proportional to the number of randomly assigned participants (i.e., sample size). (Source: Andrea Cipriani et al, The Lancet)

Authors of a major study in The Lancet have made their data set freely available on Mendeley Data. A study comparing data on 21 commonly used antidepressants from 522 randomized controlled trials with more than 100,000 participants has found that all antidepressants are more effective than placebo for short-term treatment of acute depression in adults. The network meta-analysis, published open access in The Lancet, is the most comprehensive assessment of antidepressants to date and enables comparison of data for all commonly used antidepressants. Read more.

2. Honoring the 2018 Nobel Laureates with free access to their research

By Jonathan Davis and Alison Bert, DMA | 2 October 2018
The Nobel Prize ceremony was held in Stockholm, Sweden, on December 10. Photo ©; Nobel Prize medal ® © Nobel Foundation.

Most of the Nobel Laureates in science have published their work in Elsevier's journals and books — 183 out of 184 since the year 2000, according to a Scopus analysis — and many have served as editors, editorial board members or reviewers. To honor their achievements each year, we make a selection of their most cited papers published with Elsevier freely available. Read more.

3. Citescore metrics updated with 2017 annual values

By Sacha Boucherie and Rachel McCullough | 31 May 2018
These titles received their first annual CiteScore metric, and they are already in the top 1 percent for their subject areas.

CiteScore provides a set of simple, reproducible journal metrics that cover all journals in Scopus. Although the values are presented as a set number annually at the end of May, you can use CiteScore Tracker to monitor the impact of titles each month. Since its launch in December 2016, more than 20 publishers have adopted the metric, some using the free API to display the monthly CiteSore Tracker on their website. Read more.

4. Three things that happen when your research hits the headlines

By Ian Evans | 15 October 2018
Experimental setup of 121 quarter-scale cyclist models in the wind tunnel at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. The research was sponsored by US-based multinationals ANSYS and Cray. (Source: Bert Blocken, Eindhoven University of Technology and KU Leuven)

When Prof. Bert Blocken and his team at Eindhoven University of Technology and KU Leuven in Belgium set about researching wind resistance in packs of cyclists, they were investigating a common myth in cycling aerodynamics. The research looked into the amount of wind resistance cyclists experience based on their position in the peloton. After the resulting open access research paper was published in Elsevier’s Journal of Wind Engineering & Industrial Aerodynamics, it was seized upon by the press and cycling enthusiasts, as well as by those who twisted the import of the paper to deride the efforts of cyclists in the Tour de France. Read more.

5. Elsevier at AAAS: live updates with Women in Science winners

By Alison Bert, DMA, and Domiziana Francescon | 14 February 2018
The 2018 winners of the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Award for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World.

They journeyed halfway around the globe to the world’s largest science conference to accept the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Award for Women Scientists in the Developing World. They’re early-career researchers from Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ecuador, Guyana and Indonesia, and they were recognized for their outstanding work in mathematics, physics and chemistry. Their research runs the gamut from improving predictions of tsunami behavior, to using natural resources for energy storage, to developing water filters from recycled materials. We captured their experience in photography and video as they prepared for their big day. Read more.

6. "Predatory" vs trustworthy journals: what do they mean for the integrity of science?
By Sacha Boucherie | 15 August 2018

Hundreds of thousands of researchers worldwide have published in so-called predatory journals in recent years. Among them are researchers from renowned research institutes and universities, employees of federal authorities – even a Nobel Laureate. Dr. Philippe Terheggen, Managing Director of STM Journals at Elsevier, delves into the most common issues. Read more.

7. The biggest misconceptions about AI: the experts’ view
By Sweitze Roffel and Ian Evans | 16 July 2018

We caught up with some of the leading figures in artificial intelligence research to get their view on the biggest misunderstandings around AI as well as their hopes and fears for the technology. Read more.

8. Making charts accessible for people with visual impairments
By Alison Bert, DMA, and Lisa Marie Hayes | 8 February 2018
Lucy Greco, a web accessibility expert at UC Berkeley, demonstrates the accessibility features of ScienceDirect during a RELX Corporate Responsibility Forum.

Imagine you’re visually impaired and you rely on a screen reader to read text aloud and interpret images for you on your computer. Would you be able to make sense of scientific charts and graphs? Or get any information about what they look like and the information they convey? For many researchers in this position, the answer has been “no” – or in a limited way that is far from ideal. Typically they have to pay a reader or find a volunteer to assist.

So colleagues at Elsevier set out to find a solution. Their collaboration with Highcharts set a new standard for chart accessibility. Read more.

9. AI Resource Center
By the Elsevier Community | 12 December 2018

This new site provides free access to research and expert commentary on artificial intelligence (AI) and related discussions. We created it to help research leaders, policymakers, funders, investors and the public navigate AI and understand how it has evolved. This effort can also provide clues to where AI is headed and how policies might be shaped to continue making advances in a responsible way.

In the resource center, you can download Elsevier’s new report Artificial Intelligence: How knowledge is created, transferred, and used, which provides insight into research output, collaboration and mobility for China, Europe and the United States. Read more.

10. How big data and AI can generate your scientific hypothesis
By Valentina Sasselli, PhD, and Hylke Koers, PhD | 2 February 2018
Ask a researcher what challenges they face in their everyday work, and chances are they will tell you it’s about staying up to date on what’s happening in their field — keeping a close watch on what other research groups are doing and keeping an eye open for potential collaborators and new research opportunities.

So how much of that work can be handed over to software? A new pilot between Elsevier and the Euretos AI platform aims to use big data and machine learning to scan millions of journal articles and hundreds of databases to make connections and suggest new hypotheses for researchers to investigate.

on samedi 5 janvier 2019 | A comment?

What do we know and what we would like to know about drone homogenate

What do we know and what we would like to know about drone homogenate

Sawczuk, Róża.; Karpinska, J.; Miltyk, W.
Journal of Ethnopharmacology

Bee products have been used in natural medicine for centuries. The largest number of scientific reports focused on the properties and therapeutic action of propolis, royal jelly, honey, bee venom and pollen. Less information can be foundabout another product of beekeeping which is drone brood. Drone brood - form of bee larvae, from which drones will develop- is considered to be waste of beekeepers. Drones are responsible for the fertilization of aqueen bee, thereby prolonging bee species. In addition to reproduction, they do not perform any others important functions in the bee community, except draining food resources collected by worker bees. For this reason, the excess of the drone brood is removed from the hive by the beekeepers. Before the winter bees themselves banish the adult drones from the hive. The removal of drone brood has a function in the prevention and treatment of varroosis, bee parasitic disease caused by the Varroa destructor mites. Beekeepers and scientists have noticed that this parasite accumulates in wax cells in which young drones develop. The purpose of this work was to collect and systematize information of the drone homogenate. The text of the manuscript contains information of the chemical composition, methods of storing and preserving the brood, as well as on biological activity and application in nutrition and medicine. Biological activity of fresh brood homogenate and its lyophilized form was tested in animal and human models. Drone brood has properties to stimulate the immune system (stimulating the production of antibodies by the spleen and the immune response of T lymphocytes).It has been shown by animal studies that brood homogenate has androgenic effect and led to improve areproductive capacity. In addition, it was proved that the administration of the drone brood reduced the parameters of oxidative stress and the risk of death due to cardiovascular episode. Drone brood is characterized by a complex chemical composition, depending on its development. The research carried out showed that the lyophilized drone brood homogenate (LDBH) contains proteins (57.7g/100g), carbohydrates (17.8g/100g) and lipids (21.9g/100g). LDBH were marked with B vitamins (B2, B3, B5, B6, B12), folic acid, biotin, choline, inositol as well as high content of macroelements (potassium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus) and micronutrients (manganese, copper, iron, selenium). Drone brood, in addition to the listed nutrients, contains steroid hormones: testosterone, progesterone, estradiol and prolactin. In searching for information on drone brood, generally available publishing databases such as SCOPUS, Google scholar, and PubMed were used. Search words were: "drone homogenate", "drone brood", "bee brood", "drone larvae", "drone milk". Due to the number of publications available in English, information on the drone homogenate was also searched in Russian. Patent studies of agents containing drone homogenate were searched at This work gathers information on the chemical composition, methods of storage and preservation as well as the action of the biological drone homogenate. In addition, information on the effect of the drone homogenate on animal organisms and the use of homogenate in various disease entities in humans has been provided. Manuscript also contains information on the use of the drone homogenate as a dietary and food supplement. This paper presents the most important information on the use of drone brood in folk medicine. The studies carried out with the use of animals and humans have shown that the drone brood has an adjuvant effect that improves the efficiency of the organism. Due to its high content of amino acids and proteins, it is used as a tonic and adaptogenic agent. The presence of sex hormones in the homogenate allows its use as a potency raising agent and equalizing the hormonal system in people of both sexes.